ChickenBones: A Journal

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Change is a foreign policy that doesn't begin and end with a war that should've

never been authorized and never been waged. I won't stand here and pretend that  there

are many good options left in Iraq, but what's not an option is leaving our troops in that country

 

 

Books by Barack Obama

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance  / The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream

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Obama Declares Victory

Barack Obama Delivers First Speech as Presumptive Democratic Nominee

 

Tonight, after fifty-four hard-fought contests, our primary season has finally come to an end.

Sixteen months have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Thousands of miles have been traveled. Millions of voices have been heard. And because of what you said  . . . because you decided that change must come to Washington; because you believed that this year must be different than all the rest; because you chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations, tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another . . . a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.

I want to thank every American who stood with us over the course of this campaign  . . . through the good days and the bad; from the snows of Cedar Rapids to the sunshine of Sioux Falls. And tonight I also want to thank the men and woman who took this journey with me as fellow candidates for President.

At this defining moment for our nation, we should be proud that our party put forth one of the most talented, qualified field of individuals ever to run for this office. I have not just competed with them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public servants, and as patriots who love America and are willing to work tirelessly to make this country better. They are leaders of this party, and leaders that America will turn to for years to come.

That is particularly true for the candidate who has traveled further on this journey than anyone else. Senator Hillary Clinton has made history in this campaign not just because she's a woman who has done what no woman has done before, but because she's a leader who inspires millions of Americans with her strength, her courage, and her commitment to the causes that brought us here tonight.

We've certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who's shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning  even in the face of tough odds  . . . is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency  . . . an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

There are those who say that this primary has somehow left us weaker and more divided. Well I say that because of this primary, there are millions of Americans who have cast their ballot for the very first time. There are Independents and Republicans who understand that this election isn't just about the party in charge of Washington, it's about the need to change Washington. There are young people, and African-Americans, and Latinos, and women of all ages who have voted in numbers that have broken records and inspired a nation.

All of you chose to support a candidate you believe in deeply. But at the end of the day, we aren't the reason you came out and waited in lines that stretched block after block to make your voice heard. You didn't do that because of me or Senator Clinton or anyone else. You did it because you know in your hearts that at this moment  . . . a moment that will define a generation  . . . we cannot afford to keep doing what we've been doing. We owe our children a better future. We owe our country a better future. And for all those who dream of that future tonight, I say  let us begin the work together. Let us unite in common effort to chart a new course for America.

In just a few short months, the Republican Party will arrive in St. Paul with a very different agenda. They will come here to nominate John McCain, a man who has served this country heroically. I honor that service, and I respect his many accomplishments, even if he chooses to deny mine. My differences with him are not personal; they are with the policies he has proposed in this campaign.

Because while John McCain can legitimately tout moments of independence from his party in the past, such independence has not been the hallmark of his presidential campaign.

It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush ninety-five percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year.

It's not change when he offers four more years of Bush economic policies that have failed to create well-paying jobs, or insure our workers, or help Americans afford the skyrocketing cost of college  . . . policies that have lowered the real incomes of the average American family, widened the gap between Wall Street and Main Street, and left our children with a mountain of debt.

And it's not change when he promises to continue a policy in Iraq that asks everything of our brave men and women in uniform and nothing of Iraqi politicians  . . . a policy where all we look for are reasons to stay in Iraq, while we spend billions of dollars a month on a war that isn't making the American people any safer.

So I'll say this . . . there are many words to describe John McCain's attempt to pass off his embrace of George Bush's policies as bipartisan and new. But change is not one of them.

Change is a foreign policy that doesn't begin and end with a war that should've never been authorized and never been waged. I won't stand here and pretend that there are many good options left in Iraq, but what's not an option is leaving our troops in that country for the next hundred years . . . especially at a time when our military is overstretched, our nation is isolated, and nearly every other threat to America is being ignored.

We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in - but start leaving we must. It's time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future. It's time to rebuild our military and give our veterans the care they need and the benefits they deserve when they come home. It's time to refocus our efforts on al Qaeda's leadership and Afghanistan, and rally the world against the common threats of the 21st century . . . terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease. That's what change is.

Change is realizing that meeting today's threats requires not just our firepower, but the power of our diplomacy  . . . tough, direct diplomacy where the President of the United States isn't afraid to let any petty dictator know where America stands and what we stand for. We must once again have the courage and conviction to lead the free world. That is the legacy of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy. That's what the American people want. That's what change is.

Change is building an economy that rewards not just wealth, but the work and workers who created it. It's understanding that the struggles facing working families can't be solved by spending billions of dollars on more tax breaks for big corporations and wealthy CEOs, but by giving a the middle-class a tax break, and investing in our crumbling infrastructure, and transforming how we use energy, and improving our schools, and renewing our commitment to science and innovation. It's understanding that fiscal responsibility and shared prosperity can go hand-in-hand, as they did when Bill Clinton was President.

John McCain has spent a lot of time talking about trips to Iraq in the last few weeks, but maybe if he spent some time taking trips to the cities and towns that have been hardest hit by this economy  . . . cities in Michigan, and Ohio, and right here in Minnesota  he'd understand the kind of change that people are looking for.

Maybe if he went to Iowa and met the student who works the night shift after a full day of class and still can't pay the medical bills for a sister who's ill, he'd understand that she can't afford four more years of a health care plan that only takes care of the healthy and wealthy. She needs us to pass health care plan that guarantees insurance to every American who wants it and brings down premiums for every family who needs it. That's the change we need.

Maybe if he went to Pennsylvania and met the man who lost his job but can't even afford the gas to drive around and look for a new one, he'd understand that we can't afford four more years of our addiction to oil from dictators. That man needs us to pass an energy policy that works with automakers to raise fuel standards, and makes corporations pay for their pollution, and oil companies invest their record profits in a clean energy future . . . an energy policy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's the change we need.

And maybe if he spent some time in the schools of South Carolina or St. Paul or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans, he'd understand that we can't afford to leave the money behind for No Child Left Behind; that we owe it to our children to invest in early childhood education; to recruit an army of new teachers and give them better pay and more support; to finally decide that in this global economy, the chance to get a college education should not be a privilege for the wealthy few, but the birthright of every American. That's the change we need in America. That's why I'm running for President.

The other side will come here in September and offer a very different set of policies and positions, and that is a debate I look forward to. It is a debate the American people deserve. But what you don't deserve is another election that's governed by fear, and innuendo, and division. What you won't hear from this campaign or this party is the kind of politics that uses religion as a wedge, and patriotism as a bludgeon  . . . that sees our opponents not as competitors to challenge, but enemies to demonize. Because we may call ourselves Democrats and Republicans, but we are Americans first. We are always Americans first.

Despite what the good Senator from Arizona said tonight, I have seen people of differing views and opinions find common cause many times during my two decades in public life, and I have brought many together myself. I've walked arm-in-arm with community leaders on the South Side of Chicago and watched tensions fade as black, white, and Latino fought together for good jobs and good schools. I've sat across the table from law enforcement and civil rights advocates to reform a criminal justice system that sent thirteen innocent people to death row.

And I've worked with friends in the other party to provide more children with health insurance and more working families with a tax break; to curb the spread of nuclear weapons and ensure that the American people know where their tax dollars are being spent; and to reduce the influence of lobbyists who have all too often set the agenda in Washington.

In our country, I have found that this cooperation happens not because we agree on everything, but because behind all the labels and false divisions and categories that define us; beyond all the petty bickering and point-scoring in Washington, Americans are a decent, generous, compassionate people, united by common challenges and common hopes. And every so often, there are moments which call on that fundamental goodness to make this country great again.

So it was for that band of patriots who declared in a Philadelphia hall the formation of a more perfect union; and for all those who gave on the fields of Gettysburg and Antietam their last full measure of devotion to save that same union. So it was for the Greatest Generation that conquered fear itself, and liberated a continent from tyranny, and made this country home to untold opportunity and prosperity. So it was for the workers who stood out on the picket lines; the women who shattered glass ceilings; the children who braved a Selma bridge for freedom's cause. So it has been for every generation that faced down the greatest challenges and the most improbable odds to leave their children a world that's better, and kinder, and more just. And so it must be for us.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment  . . .  this was the time  when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

June 3, 2008 / Saint Paul, Minnesota

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Responses

I am uncertain what can be done about the lack of graciousness by the Clintons. Now she wants to pressure Obama to make her his VP running mate and it's said that a petition is being started and that she wants to take the fight to Denver. Stay strong Obama. Don't let her bully you. Be cool. Let the fools look around and discover they been beaten. Offer her something but never the VP spotRudy

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GOOD ADVICE RUDY.  A SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENT PROMISE MIGHT HOLD THEM OFF, EXCEPT FOR THE FOLLOWING! HILLARY ON ROWE V. WADE, NO PROBLEM. HILLARY ON BIG BUSINESS, COULD BE A PROBLEMWison

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Dear Rudy, Congratulations for this historic victory.  We are all proud of all of you!  This victory reminds me that I will never know what is possible if I don't venture forth! We in Kenya are proud.Betty

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Second Thoughts—Making Hillary VP would be an absolute guarantee that Obama would never be assassinated by anyone on the right!Wilson

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I will put forth no more pretensions or threats about not voting for Obama. It does not make any difference to me whether he chooses a rabid dog for his VP. I will vote for Obama for President in November. It will not be because I agree with his rather conservative domestic and foreign platforms. Or his stance in support of Israel against the Palestinians or any of his other disagreeable policies and commitments.
 
I am not ashamed of my intent and I have no apologies. It is a one time experience and I wish  tomorrow I could vote for Obama. For I do not want to miss it. I wish I could write in now. I am afraid this will be the first and only time I will have to vote for an African American for President. It has been a long time coming. This is a historical moment for me. I have been denied because of American racism this opportunity and I do not want to miss out on it. My only fear is that I will not live to have the opportunity to vote for Obama. If HRC is on the ticket so be it. Obama you got my vote come hell or high waterRudy

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Rudy, I am ecstatic about Obama's victory and have no patience with naysayers because I just want to enjoy this momentfor our race, for our country, for our world. I disagree completely with Wilson: the way to assure Obama's assassination is to make Hillary his VP. The fatal blow wouldn't come from the right or the left, but from inside the White House.Miriam

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She says it’s hers and that she has earned it.  Her camp says she's confident Obama will do the right thing and announce her soon as his running mate. Others are saying that she aims to run the nation as vice president, overshadowing President Obama when and wherever possible, making him a lame duck from Day One.  He may have the title, but she means to have the power and respect of the U.S. president.  She wants to drive him out of office early on in his first term, if he wins, so that she can take over.  Some of this was in commentary on MSNBC.  And some come from her supporters in Fla. (Don't speculate about other methods she may use to oust him from the top spot while she's vice president.)Stuart

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I like Richards as a possibility, Edwards wouldn't hurt and Clarke would shut up the warhawks.  Uncle Remus' great niece Hillary would best serve in the Senate where she can  help push things through or as a cabinet member (Health would be a good place for her).  I would keep Bill at a distance and, when he's around, follow that advice about having a food taster (and doctor with a stomach pump nearby).—Chuck

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Dear Rudy, Hope things are going okay. I know you have been going through a lot. Congratulations on your insights! I am delighted to see that you predicted the actions of the Democratic party leadership. Charlie Rangell apparently became truly angry, and as the Tamany Hall boss who got her to the Senate in the first place, he played a roll in telling her when to stand down.Wilson

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Whoopi Goldberg—Hillary Speech Pissed Me Off

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Coda for the ClintonsCrank up your iPods, everyone. Herewith, a musical guide to the endgame of the epic contest for the Democratic nomination: Begin with "No More Drama"by Mary J. Blige. The hip-hop diva was singing about personal struggles, but her show-stopping anthem couldn't be more relevant to the nomination battle. . . . All right, now let's cue up an old standard: "It's Only a Paper Moon,"  recorded by Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and almost every other great singer in the history of jazz. "But it wouldn't be make-believe if you believed in me," goes the lyric— an apt comment on the "popular vote" tally. . . . Finally, let's revisit an '80s classic that helped launch the music video era: Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love." I'm talking about the Clintons here, mostly Bill -- and no, I don't mean that kind of love. I'm talking about the kind of love that comes from being at center stage—the cheers, the adoration, the curtain calls. Since 1992, the Clintons have owned the Democratic Party. The fact that they didn't get all they wanted from the rules committee on Saturday is proof that the party has changed hands. . . .  A new Vanity Fair story asking what's wrong with Bill Clinton is the sort of thing that once would have just rolled off his back. Instead, his office issued a lengthy, detailed, persnickety rebuttal—despite the fact that there wasn't much to rebut, except the concerned observations of unnamed friends and associates who worry about his emotional state. I'd suggest he listen to a little contemporary gospel— some Kirk Franklin, maybe, or Yolanda Adams but I don't want to make him madder. Washington Post

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Rudy, I sent this message to Washington Post editor Eugene Robinson in response to his column, entitled "Coda for the Clintons," and which appeared in yesterday's paper. Sure enough, the Clintons have not exited yet from the campaign with the "equanimity and grace" that Robinson predicted.—Floyd:

Dear Mr. Robinson:

I continue to be impressed with your columns, especially the recent ones about the Obama-Clinton campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.  You can hit the Clintons hard—I think they have deserved such treatment—and you can be somewhat gentle, as in today's piece.  And you know how skillfully to infuse black references in your writing; from Mary J to Kirk Franklin is marvelous!  I really value your skill and perspective.  Today's piece is just outstanding in this regard.

Now, I am not as confident as you in thinking that the Clintons will exit from this long campaign in the manner that you seem to expect.  Indeed, to connect "equanimity and grace" with the Clintons--and in the same sentencestretches my sense of believability. Sincerely, Floyd Hayes, III

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Death of a Saleswoman—How Hillary Clinton lost me—and a generation of young voters.—As he goes forward, Obama will undoubtedly be compared to Abraham Lincoln. But I always thought Whitman was a more apt predecessor for both candidates. Whitman embodied the ecstatic to which Hillary Clinton, at one time, linked her hopes for a better America. But she didn't make it part of her campaign. Instead, she made fun of Obama's knack for lighting a fire in the hearts of a wide swath of Americans. She preached pragmatism instead of fellow-feeling. And she scolded Obama for being starry-eyed. But her decision to turn away from the ecstatic was a great mistake, as Whitman might have understood. By stripping her campaign of its native appeal, by refusing to portray herself as part of a transcendent feminist narrative, by diluting the dynamic pleasures of mass political response, she let us down. After all, feminism need not be joyless. Slate

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I do not believe that he will offer her the VP spot, a job just a heartbeat away from the presidency. She has proven herself hostile and untrustworthy. She doesn't even like or respect him! The world has witnessed her hostility as this upstart of a black man took her birthright away. Who needs a VP like that ? Besides, some of his critics have said that he is not tough enough. So, to me it stands to reason that he will show just how tough he really is, and not bend to the petitions or to her ego-driven plea for the job.Sandra

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Nobody other than the Hillary die-hards think Obama should offer Clinton the VP spot.  Such a move would be interpreted as weakness.  Besides who wants the Clintons hanging around for another four to eight years?  I don't think Obama has any chance of winning in November, now that the American casualty rate in Iraq has declined.   Most of the current deaths are Iraqis and few Americans have ever cared about Iraqi casualties.   Even to mention Iraqi casualties is seen, by some, as unpatriotic.   Bush has just initiated a well-timed trial of the 9/11 terrorists, which should satisfy the populace, as well.  As for the economy, the fat cats will manage to get the price of gas down to $3.50 by election week, so that will satisfy everybody.  In other words Hillary's "good hard-working people," will ignore the war and the economy; clinging to their guns and their Bibles, they will, without bitterness of course, simply vote anti-Black.  This presumes, optimistically, that Barack will still be alive in November. Hillary will continue to hover like a vulture, hoping for a repeat of the 1968 Kennedy assassination.Wilson

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In years to come after the coals of our struggles for Obama have died down, we will pity Hillary Clinton and her squandering of her chance to rise to greatness and pull women up with her. We will wonder why she chose an old-fashioned manliness and race as a means to rise to the presidency, alienating those who wanted so much her success—blacks, young women, and feminists, and other women; Hispanics. It is regrettable that she had no new vision for the 21st century. We wish her well as she returns to her work in the U.S. Senate.—Rudy

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So well put Rudy!—Mona Lisa

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Hi, Rudy, Thanks for all the political news. I've read a good bit—not all. I would have been satisfied with either candidate, but Hillary did get shrill and spoiled her chances. Obama is great for my grandsons, but I also have a granddaughter.Lee

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Let Obama be Spock; Let Hillary be Kirk. Now this will be too complicated for some people, because it involves a reversed metaphor. Everyone knows that Spock ran the Starship Enterprise; it was not Kirk. Let Hillary be Kirk and Obama be Spock. Spock deals with the logic and allows Hillary to grab the headlines. Spock/Obama allows Hillary to grab the glory, while he does all the thinking. Sounds like a possibility.—Wilson 

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I think, Rudy, that there will be many articles and books written to analyze the reasons for Clinton's loss, for, indeed, she threw away the prize. She had everything in her favor—the backing of the Democratic machine,  experience in politics, a huge war chest, political connections, and the support of a former president--but she threw it all away because of a lack of vision, ego-tripping, mismanagement, lies, race-baiting, an inept staff, overzealousness, and so on.

But I shall never, as long as I live, pity her and, really, she has too much hubris to want our pity. She has never cast herself as a victim and doesn't even know how to play that role.—Miriam

posted 4 June 2008

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007

By Matthew Wasniewski

Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2007 beautifully prepared volume—is a comprehensive history of the more than 120 African Americans who have served in the United States Congress. Written for a general audience, this book contains a profile of each African-American Member, including notables such as Hiram Revels, Joseph Rainey, Oscar De Priest, Adam Clayton Powell, Shirley Chisholm, Gus Hawkins, and Barbara Jordan. Individual profiles are introduced by contextual essays that explain major events in congressional and U.S. history. Part I provides four chronologically organized chapters under the heading "Former Black Members of Congress." Each chapter provides a lengthy biographical sketch of the members who served during the period addressed, along with a narrative historical account of the era and tables of information about the Congress during that time. Part II provides similar information about current African-American members. There are 10 appendixes providing tabular information of a variety of sorts about the service of Black members, including such things as a summary list, service on committees and in party leadership posts, familial connections, and so forth. The entire volume is 803 large folio pages in length and there are many illustrations. The book should be part of every library and research collection, and congressional scholars may well wish to obtain it for their personal libraries.Pictures—including rarely seen historical images—of each African American who has served in Congress—Bibliographies and references to manuscript collections for each Member—Statistical graphs and charts

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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The New Jim Crow

Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

By Michele Alexander

Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama's political success and Oprah Winfrey's financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today... than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don't know the truth about mass incarceration—but her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 8 April 2012

 

 

 

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